^^^This is Jeff, the artist for Gothic Doctor. Follow him on Twitter (@j80designs)^^^
Ten things you might want to know about Jeff:
- He used to drive a Zamboni machine at a hockey arena during college.
- He once ate a whole piece of college ruled notebook paper for $20.
- Though terrified of performing in front of people Jeff can actually sing pretty good (maybe after a few beers)
- Has recently become addicted to Angry Birds (I know, it’s so 2012)
- Jeff owns and is the designer of his own t-shirt company called J80Designs (www.j80designs.com).
- Jeff is happily married with an adorable daughter and though she doesn’t have superpowers (yet) he is training her to be a superhero in hopes that one day she’ll become a member of the Justice League.
- Jeff knows every word to Motown Philly by Boyz 2 Men.
- He has seen the band “311” 21 times since 1999.
- Ran the New York City Marathon in 2008 because his wife used reverse psychology on him and told him he “probably couldn’t do it.”
- Jeff can smell colors. (Just accept that as fact)
How we decided on Jeff (by Doug)
We had been working on the game for about four months, and we knew we had something that we wanted to develop. We also knew that we didn’t have the artistic chops to make it happen. If you need proof of that, check out our sweet rendering of an awesome banshee here.
So, we started hunting, asking around, and seeing whose work we liked. My brother-in-law said that he knew a guy. We asked for a name and some samples. Nothing materialized. We asked again. Nothing happened. We wrote him off. Maybe he wasn’t interested. Maybe he wasn’t reliable. Who knows?
Then, on my birthday, his brother-in-law was sick, so he sent me an email entitled, “Happy Birthday, Gothic Doctor Doug”. And the first image I opened was Mr. Hyde…
Yeah. That happened. I started jumping around wildly, laughing hysterically, shouting, “You have to see this! You have to see this! We found our artist! This is our artist!” and so forth. An overly excited Doug in his natural habitat is quite a site to behold.
Let me break down what I love about the image. Hyde, as I mentioned on my About Doug page, is often misunderstood. He isn’t a grotesque-looking, hulking brute of a guy; he’s normal. He’s a regular guy who has let the darker side of his personality win. So that dichotomy of good and evil has to be subtle – and in Jeff’s Hyde, it is: the cane and the knife. Those two elements both look so natural in the picture even though the contrast each other so much. Because the knife isn’t all that menacing; it’s just there. And the cane isn’t being used to support him; he looks like he’s tensing up to swing it from his back.
And his eyes.
Looking at those eyes – and I did…for a very long time – I knew this was exactly what we needed for the game. Not a little bit – but exactly. On the first draft I had ever seen of Jeff’s Hyde, I had no corrections. Nothing. Nothing to change at all. Hyde was perfect.
The rest, as they say, is history. Jeff and I met at a Latin cafe with my brother-in-law. We talked about comics, teaching, and TV. We settled on a price – and I did my best to contain my excitement. But you’d have to ask Jeff how I did on that front.
And thus far, the rest of Jeff’s work has been stellar – and I have no doubts that everything else is going to be amazing, too. He’s been a Godsend for this project, and we hope to be able to raise enough to get the rest of his artwork for Gothic Doctor to the world.